Being involved in a vehicle accident can be a terrifying situation. This is especially true with a semi-truck because trucks can cause a lot more damage and injuries due to their sheer size. Following the accident, you may be in a state of shock and may forget some key steps to take.
That is why it is very important to have a checklist in place in case you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck. An Oklahoma truck accident lawyer will provide you with a simple list of suggestions on what to do after you are involved in a truck accident.
Steps to Take After a Commercial Truck Accident
Here is what to do immediately after a truck wreck:
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Call the Police
The very first step that you should take is to contact the Oklahoma City Police Department or other local PDs as soon as possible. Notifying the authorities immediately will ensure that they can arrive at the scene in a timely manner. That way, they can assist any drivers or occupants of the vehicles with whatever their needs may be.
They may be able to assist medically before the EMTs arrive, block or divert any potentially hazardous traffic, or begin constructing their accident reports. Calling the police should always be the first step.
Get Medical Attention
The next step of your checklist is to evaluate your medical needs or the medical needs of anyone else involved in the semi-truck accident. If you or anyone else involved in the accident is hurt or seriously injured, it is crucial to get medical attention as soon as possible. If you can remain at the scene of the accident, you can be evaluated by the EMTs and then transported to a local hospital for further screening.
If you are unable to stay at the scene and you are injured, it is important to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. This will provide you with a documented timeline from the hospital via paperwork. Making sure you are evaluated quickly also plays a factor in any insurance settlement claims. If you wait too long, the insurance company may try to say that you were not that hurt since you waited so long to be seen by a physician.
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Another valuable step to take after a truck accident is to document the evidence. This can easily be done by taking pictures. Take as many pictures as possible from numerous angles. These pictures may be very useful, especially if there is a court case or insurance discrepancies resulting from the accident.
It may be helpful to take pictures of the surrounding streets and areas to provide a clearer picture of what happened in the truck accident.
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See if There Are Any Witnesses
Once you have completed the previous steps, the next thing to do is to locate any witnesses who may have observed the accident. Any eyewitnesses to the accident can be a big game changer, especially if it becomes a “he said” versus “she said” situation.
A police officer or even you yourself can get a written statement and their personal contact information. It is best to get a statement from them right away as the information and memories will be fresh in their minds. If this is not possible, it is okay to get a statement from them at a later date. This statement can also be very useful in the future if there is an insurance discrepancy or a lawsuit.
It is crucial to exchange information with all the parties involved in the truck accident. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, registration numbers, and insurance information. This is important because one of the drivers may flee the accident scene before the police arrive.
It is always a good idea to collect the information yourself, just in case there is an error in any of the other documents or reports. You should get the trucking companies’ information since they most likely will be involved in the case, as well as the driver.
Be Cautious of What You Say
The last bit of advice to remember when you are at the accident scene is to be very careful about what you say. It is reasonable to say that you will be extremely shaken up following the accident. You may even be in a bit of shock. It is important to remember that anything you say could be used against you later.
For example, someone might overhear you apologizing and take that as you are taking responsibility for the accident. It is best to say as little as possible, only exchange pertinent information, and keep emotions out of the conversation. Another area to be vigilant about is what you say or post on social media. Insurance companies, lawyers, and private investigators may dig into your private life to document things to use against you in a lawsuit. One example is if you create a post regarding the accident, one of your followers may comment and ask how you are doing.
Without realizing it, you may respond and explain that you are good. This may be used against you to try to prove that you were good and not really injured or affected by the accident. If you feel that there may be a lawsuit in the future, be careful what you post across all social media outlets.
Steps to Take at Home
After the initial steps to take at the accident scene, there are important steps to take once you are home. You will need to contact your insurance company to set up an insurance claim and schedule an insurance appraisal of your vehicle. The process may be a little different depending on what type of insurance coverage you have.
You will also have to schedule any initial or follow-up exams with a physician. If you or one of your loved ones was injured or hurt in the accident and were not evaluated by a professional, do so as soon as you are able to.
You may have a follow-up exam or treatments resulting from the accident. It is very important to your recovery to attend every physician appointment following the accident. Adhering to your physicians’ orders is very important because it shows the insurance companies that you are doing everything you can to heal quickly. Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly as possible to save money.
Connect with an Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyer Today
A truck accident lawyer at BDIW Law in Oklahoma will have the trusted and experienced professionals to meet your specific needs. Call now or fill out our quick contact form to speak with one of our experienced representatives to set up a free consultation. You may have physical or monetary setbacks from being in an accident with a truck, so contact our team today to start your path to recovery.
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